Why take Food Supplements and Which Ones are Right for You?
Are supplements a mystery to you?
Many people don't come close to meeting their daily nutritional requirements even if they are trying conscientiously.
Do you really need food supplements?
- Do you eat five to seven servings of fresh fruits and raw vegetables a day?
- Were the fruits ripe before they were picked?
- Did the soil that your vegetables were grown in have all of the trace minerals in the ground
- Were the fruits and vegetables that you bought ripened on the vine, or were they sitting in a storage shed for months before you bought them? In wintertime in the northern parts of North America, fresh fruit and vegetables must have traveled and been in storage a long time before arriving on your table.
- Do you get the recommended 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day?
You could say that if you ate the "right" foods in a well-balanced diet you would get all the vitamins you need. The problem is very few of us are able to arrange this mythical diet.
Less than 20% of Americans eat the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA June 2002).
They are advising all adults to take at least one multi-vitamin per day:
"Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements." (Journal of the American Medical Association), June 2002
Even if you eat a healthy, plant-based diet, emphasizing fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, you can't be sure they are as nourishing as expected due to the depletion of soil minerals.
The widespread use of chemical fertilizers has enabled farmers to produce market-acceptable, "wholesome- appearing" foods from nutrient depleted soils. These foods may have also been deprived of nutrients by modern processing methods that advocate preserving, freezing, heating, canning, coloring, etc.
Additional stress may be placed on our bodies by chemical and pesticide exposure. With all the changes and stresses in our lives, we need all the help we can get.
OK...OK, so what do you do?
Most people admit it's difficult, if not impossible, to eat a balanced diet, so taking multiple vitamin/mineral supplements as nutrition insurance just makes good sense. And you might be very surprised at the noticeable difference in your well-being by simply giving your body what it needs to naturally maintain good health.
Be careful, though more may sound better, one little capsule jammed with too many ingredients cannot possibly contain enough of each nutrient to be of any noticable effect. It's not just a matter of what's in a capsule, but how much.
Note that the JAMA recommendations underscore a concern among nutrition experts that recommended daily allowances for many vitamins are too low. Evidence is growing that higher levels of many vitamins are necessary for optimum health.
"All of us grew up believing that if we ate a reasonable diet, that would take care of our vitamin needs. But the new evidence, much of it in the last couple of years, is that vitamins also prevent the usual diseases we deal with every day-heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and birth defects."
Drs. Robert Fletcher and Kathleen Fairfield of Harvard University agree. According to them scientists' understanding of the benefits of vitamin supplements has rapidly advanced. "It now appears that people who get enough vitamins may have a lower risk of some common chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis."
Some foods, taken as supplements can also have beneficial health effects...Read our pages on:
Flax Seed Oil
Benefits of Soy
Benefits of Whey Protein
Benefits of Vitamin C
Benefits of Co Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Arabinogalactan for your immune system
Colostrum for your immune system
Importance of Potassium
Related Sites to Visit
The Vitamins and Nutrition Center is a non-profit site where you can find tons of information about vitamins and nutrition, including research on vitamins, articles on vitamins and common vitamin profiles.
Go beyond ingredient listing and sales hype tofind the right vitamins and diet for you. Whileit all sounds great in theory, what works whereit counts - in your body?
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